The mad rush of prospectors that flocked to the Keweenaw in search of copper prompted concerns of Native America aggression directed to these new arrivals. In response the government commissioned the construction of a small military fort on the shores of Lake Fanny Hooe in Copper Harbor. However, after it became apparent that no such aggression was forthcoming, the fort was abandoned. Years later the ruins of the old fort would become a popular auto touring destination, attracting day trippers from all across the peninsula.
While the fort became a popular attraction, the road to it was considered something else entirely. Narrow, rutted, and rocky, the old road would challenge even the most experienced driver and led to many flat tires and broken down vehicles. When the old fort became a state park in 1923, it was apparent that such a horrible road would have to be remedied immediately. By 1927 funding was procured for the construction of a new and improved road to the fort, culminating with the erection of a beautiful new bridge over Fanny Hooe Creek.
The Fanny Hooe Creek bridge is of a rather typical design for its time, utilizing concrete to form an arch on which the roadway is supported. But what makes this particular bridge unique is its liberal use of masonry to augment that concrete skeleton, sheathing the structure in a calico coat of mine rock. That same rock treatment is used along the upper guard rails as well, creating a particularly beautiful utilitarian structure.
NOTES: This bridge carries two lanes of US41 traffic and provides only a shallow shoulder on both sides. A state park parking area just past the bridge allow for easy access by foot.
DIRECTIONS: From the blinking light at the US41 / M26 intersection in Copper Harbor continue north along US41 for another one and a quarter mile. The parking area will be just after the bridge on the left.